JNM Engineering Standard Terms of Business
Hours of business
Normal hours of business are from 09.00 to 17.00, Mondays to Fridays, excepting public holidays.
Appointments can be arranged outside of these hours where necessary and home or business visits are available.
Charges and expenses
Our fees are based on a number of factors which include the speed of response required, the size, value, complexity and novelty of the matter and any specialist knowledge required. However, the time we spend in dealing with your case is usually the most significant factor. Time is charged at an hourly rate or fixed fees and in some cases the rate increases where there is the need to work outside normal working hours. The rates which apply to each matter will be confirmed to you in writing at the beginning of the matter.
Time spent on your case includes meetings with you and others, recording attendance notes of those meetings, travel, waiting, research and considering, preparing and working on files and making file notes.
We will give you information about our likely charges at the start of your matter. We will either:
- explain the rates we charge for time spent and specific activities in relation to your work, in which case we will also estimate what our charges are likely to be in relation to all of the work, or for work up to a certain point, or
- give you a fixed quote which will not change unless new information comes to light which makes additional work necessary that would not have been apparent at the time the quote was given to you.
Where we are charging on an hourly basis, you may wish to set a limit on our charges that may not be exceeded without your authority. If so, please discuss your requirements with the Engineer dealing with your matter. Please bear in mind that, should the limit you set be reached during the conduct of your matter, it will not be possible to do further work for you until a new limit has been agreed.
Where we are charging on the basis of a fixed quote, as set out above, should it become apparent that there is more work to do than was initially apparent, then it will be necessary to amend the quote but we will not incur costs on your behalf until a revised quote has been agreed with you.
Travel expenses not included within the quotation will be charged at £75.00 per hour and £0.45p per mile.
There may also be certain additional expenses to be paid to third parties, for example sewer records, flood data, search fees or fees for experts’ reports. Some of these fees may include VAT. We are under no obligation to pay these fees on your behalf unless you have provided us with funds for this purpose. We will advise you at the outset of any known or likely expenses that will have to be paid and will notify you as soon as possible of any likely additional expenses. In addition, we may raise charges for incidental expenses such as photocopying, subsistence and travel expenses.
Exceptionally, should it appear or become apparent on investigation that a matter is unusually complex or difficult, or requires urgent work outside normal office hours, then we reserve the right to revise our charges and to make a charge in addition to charges based purely on time. We will notify you in advance in such circumstances.
Our charging rates are reviewed annually to take account of changes in overhead costs and inflation. If a review is carried out before your matter is completed, you will be advised of any variation in the rates before they take effect.
JNM Engineering Limited is registered for VAT. The VAT number is 909 6937 76
Arrangements for payment of bills
It is normal practice to ask clients to make payments on account of anticipated charges and expenses. It is helpful if clients meet requests for payments on account promptly in order to avoid delay in progressing their work.
At the outset of your matter we may agree with you that interim bills will be rendered at certain time intervals or at certain stages of your matter. In any event, where a matter is ongoing, or the quotation for works is for £5000.00 or more, we reserve the right to issue interim bills on a monthly basis. This helps to maintain the practice’s cash flow and avoids a build up of charges for you. Bills for payment of amounts on account of costs will not always include a detailed account at the time but detailed accounts of costs will be submitted at least every six months unless a different frequency is agreed with you. Any job which involves the submission of a S38, S278 or S104 approval, an interim bill for 50% of the total fee will be issued upon completion of the drawings and submission to the relevant authority. Payment terms are full payment within 7 days of issue of invoice.
Bills are due for payment upon receipt and we may decline to act further for you whilst any bill or request for payment on account remains outstanding. Invoices outstanding after 7 days will incur a £30 administration fee and £30.00 thereafter for every chasing request made.
If we have issued a final bill and, subsequently, we become liable to a third party for expenses incurred on your behalf, we reserve the right to issue a further bill or bills in respect of such expenses.
At your request, we may agree to issue bills relating to work carried out for you to third parties for payment. Notwithstanding an agreement to do this, you will remain primarily liable to us if such third party does not promptly discharge the account.
If any bill remains outstanding for longer than 30 days, interest (at 8% above the Bank of England Base Rate at the relevant time) will be charged together with a penalty for late payment (up to £100) under, or in line with, the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998.
It is important that you understand that you will be responsible for paying for bill(s). If a third party agrees to pay all or part of your costs, you will remain responsible to us for payment until those costs have been paid in full.
- It is your responsibility to tell us if you have any form of insurance cover such as legal expenses insurance that will pay our fees. You must tell us if there is a third party who may pay the fees.
Clearance of cheques
If we receive money from you or a third party in the form of a cheque we will not be able to treat those funds as cleared until eight working days have passed after the cheque is paid into our account. If it is necessary to draw upon those funds less than eight days after they were paid into our account then, in certain circumstances, special arrangements can be made with our bank for which they will make a charge which we will pass on to you.
If we engage any other professionals on your behalf, whether in the UK or abroad, we do so as your agent. When we engage such professionals, we shall do so with care but shall not be held responsible for any act or omission of those professionals unless otherwise agreed in writing.
Please do not show any of our correspondence to any third party without first checking with us.
Copyright in any document created by us will be and remain vested in us and will not be transferred to you. We assert the right to be identified as the author of, and to object to the misuse of, any such document.
You may terminate your instructions to us in writing at any time in which case we will issue a bill for the work done to that point. If at any stage you do not wish us to continue doing work and/or incurring charges and expenses on your behalf, you must tell us clearly in writing.
We may decline to act or to continue to act for you if
- you do not provide us with clear or adequate instructions, or
- there is a serious breakdown in the relationship between us, or
- other circumstances arise where we consider it inappropriate for us to continue to act for you.
If instructions are terminated for whatever reason and whether by you or by us, you will be liable for all charges and expenses to the date of termination or to which we may be committed at the date of termination together with any charges or expenses for work necessary in connection with the transfer of the matter to another advisor of your choice.
Raising queries or concerns with us
This practice is committed to providing a high-quality service to all our clients. When something goes wrong we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to maintain and improve this practice’s standards.
If you have a complaint, please write to James Mewis, unless the complaint relates to a matter handled by him in which case please write to Nicola Clayton with the details.
We are committed to attempting to resolve any problems that arise with our services. It is important that you raise any concerns you may have as soon as possible.
In matters where we are instructed by more than one person, firm or company, such instructions will be considered to be joint and several unless otherwise agreed in writing.
Acting for limited companies and LLPs
When accepting instructions to act on behalf of a limited company or a limited liability partnership (LLP), in the event that the limited company or LLP is unable to pay the charges and expenses due to us for whatever reason, (e.g., as a result of insolvency), the directors of the limited company or the members of the LLP agree to be personally liable, jointly and severally, for those charges and expenses.
We may correspond with you by email to improve the speed and efficiency of communication unless you advise us in writing that you do not wish us to do so. You acknowledge that email may not be secure and that it is possible that emails carry a risk of transmission of computer viruses and other damaging items which it is not possible to completely eliminate. Please note that we use “spam” filters and that these can occasionally block legitimate emails. Accordingly, we recommend that you confirm important email communications to us by either a telephone call, or post in case your email has been blocked. Email will be treated as written correspondence and we are entitled to assume that the purported sender of an email is the actual sender and that any express or implied approval or authority referred to in an email has been validly given.
Professional Indemnity Insurance and our liability to clients
JNM Engineering Limited is a limited liability company and is liable for the advice and services provided by it.
Except to the extent that the law does not permit us to exclude or limit liability, our total liability in connection with or arising directly or indirectly from any matter we undertake on your behalf is limited to £1 million unless a higher level of liability is agreed with you expressly in writing. This limit will cover claims of any sort whatsoever whether arising in contract, negligence or otherwise, and all damages including interest, costs and expenses.
Our professional insurer is 100% Travelers insurance company limited, 23-27 Alie Street, London, England, E1 8DS
Funds payable to clients
Payment of funds due to you will normally be by cheque made payable to you. We are unable to make payments of funds due to you in favour of third parties.
Confidentiality and data protection
In common with many modern businesses, we store information relating to our clients’ work on computer. Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have the right to see a copy of the information we hold in relation to work for which there is a nominal fee. The personal data provided by you will be processed in accordance with the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998 and for the purpose of enabling us to deal efficiently with your instructions. You have a right to make a formal written request for access to personal data held about you to inspect it and have it corrected if it is wrong.
Terms of Business and future instructions
Unless agreed otherwise, and subject to the application of the current charging rates at the relevant time, these terms of business shall apply to any future instruction given by you to us. We may periodically review our terms of business and we shall notify you of any changes and the date upon which they take effect.
Our responsibility to you is to conduct the work we do for you in a professional, competent, expeditious and cost effective way. Also to keep you informed as to progress, costs, and other matters pertinent to the work we are doing for you.
Your responsibility to us is to ensure that you give us all the information we need as quickly as you can when we ask for it and to let us know of any information that comes to your knowledge that is in any way relevant to the work we are doing for you as soon as you receive it. Also to put us in funds in respect of any payments (disbursements) we need to make on your behalf in good time so as to ensure there is no delay in us being
able to make such payments, and to pay all bills promptly upon receipt so as to ensure that we are able to continue working for you without interruption and so that you do not incur interest charges.
These terms of business and/or client care letter are governed by and construed in accordance with English law and you hereby submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.
Any amendments or changes to the planning layout design after submission of the work from JNM Engineering Ltd will be charged additionally.
However, there may be exceptional circumstances in which unforeseen or additional work is required when it may be necessary to make an additional charge. In the absence of my providing you with an estimate of the additional work, I shall charge for this at an hourly rate of £75.00, but please note that such circumstances are exceptional, and no additional work will be done without first agreeing this with you.
Your continuing instructions in this matter will amount to your acceptance of these terms and conditions of business. Even so, we ask you to please sign and date the enclosed copy of these terms and return it to us immediately so that we can then be confident that you understand the basis on which we will act for you.